What Is a Tagline? (Featuring 50+ Brilliant Tagline Examples)

Image of a woman’s hand holding a pencil and writing, symbolising the act of writing a tagline. This image introduces the blog post titled "What is a Tagline and How to Write One That Sticks."

By Nine Blaess | 07:29 min

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    Have you ever wondered what a tagline is? Well, it’s more than just a catchy phrase. Your tagline should get to the core of your brand and communicate its uniqueness.

    In this article, we’ll discuss the role of taglines, why your brand needs one, and how taglines differ from slogans. I’ll also use real-world tagline examples to introduce you to different type of taglines and give you tips on how to write a tagline that will resonate with your audience.

    Let’s dive right in.

    What Is a Tagline?

    Did it ever occur to you that a “tag line” literally means “a line that sticks”? But a tagline is more than a sticky phrase. It’s a short expression that sums up the essence, uniqueness and personality of your brand.

    Thanks to your tagline, people can identify your brand even when the brand name is not visible. It’s almost like your company’s signature and one of the most effective ways to increase brand recognition.

    A Tagline Is Not a Slogan

    A tagline and a slogan are two different things. Although both are memorable phrases or sentences, they serve quite different purposes.

    A slogan is often used to promote a specific temporary offer.

    A tagline, on the other hand, has a longer-term role. It represents your brand as a whole—its core values, unique selling point and personality. A tagline goes beyond individual products.

    In fact, a well-crafted tagline can become inseparable from your brand identity over time, while a slogan might be forgotten.

    Let’s take Nike as an example. Since 1988, Nike has used its iconic tagline, “Just Do It.” It embodies Nike’s brand ethos of determination, motivation, and overcoming challenges.

    Nike consistently uses this tagline in its marketing materials—from advertising and packaging to other prominent placements such as in Google search results.

    The tagline has become deeply associated with the Nike brand through this consistent and strategic use.

    Example of Nike incorporating its tagline “Just Do It” into Google Search
    Example of Nike incorporating its tagline into Google Search

    In addition to this long-term tagline “Just Do It,” Nike has used various slogans tied to individual campaigns, such as:

    • Find Your Greatness 
    • Unlimited You
    • Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.

    Why Your Brand Should Have a Tagline

    Let’s be honest. Not all brands have or need a tagline. Nevertheless, taglines offer many advantages.

    Here are some reasons why they are so popular in branding:

    Unique Brand Identity

    Your tagline can help emphasise your brand’s unique identity—its values, personality, vision and mission. By summarising the essence of your brand in just a few words, your tagline can help form an image in the consumer’s mind.

    Take Audi’s tagline, for example: “Vorsprung durch Technik”. This tagline highlights Audi’s unique benefit of technological innovation and progressiveness.

    Your Brand Name and Tagline Should Complement Each Other

    Your tagline should complement your brand name effectively.

    If the brand name lacks descriptiveness, the tagline can often help to communicate the company’s purpose better. An example is Amazon’s “From A to Z.

    On the other hand, if the brand name is descriptive enough, the tagline can add personality and emotion, as Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere” tagline, for example.

    Increased Brand Recognition

    Your tagline can also help increase brand recognition.

    A memorable tagline can leave an impression and foster a sense of familiarity with your brand.

    I can become a distinctive brand asset that is instantly associated with the brand. 

    Customer Connection

    A well-worded tagline appeals to your customers on an emotional level. In doing so, it can create a connection between them and your brand.

    Your tagline can evoke positive emotions by appealing to your customers’ values or addressing their needs and desires.

    In the case of Audi, the tagline “Vorsprung durch Technik” taps into people’s desire for a car with cutting-edge technology. Much unlike Fiat’s “Driven by Passion,” which taps into the emotion and enjoyment of driving.

    Differentiation

    Your tagline can also help differentiate your brand from its competition by emphasising the brand’s unique selling point and personality. It’s an opportunity to say, “Hey, we’re different, and here’s why.”

    For Audi, this means positioning itself as the go-to brand for technologically advanced cars. Volvo, on the other hand is all about safety, and so on.

    Does Every Brand Need a Tagline?

    The short answer is no.

    However, a tagline can bridge the gap between your brand name and its intended meaning.

    This is especially true when the name itself doesn’t convey the essence of the brand or when your brand is still establishing itself.

    Nevertheless, not all brands need a tagline.

    A look at your goals, target audience, and brand strategy will give you an idea of whether a tagline is the right choice for growing your brand.

    Tagline Types Plus Real-World Tagline Examples

    Let’s look at the different types of taglines and tagline examples for each type. There’s not always a clear cut, though. Many examples would fit into multiple categories.

    Descriptive Taglines

    Descriptive taglines are brief and impactful summaries. They effectively capture the essence of a brand.

    They offer insights into the brand’s essential features, benefits, or unique selling points by vividly describing what it stands for and offers.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Taste the rainbow. (Skittles)
    • Belong anywhere. (Airbnb)
    • Broadcast Yourself. (Youtube)
    • We’ll leave a light on for you. (Motel 6)
    • We deliver. (USPS)
    • This is wellness (Deliciously Ella)

    Inspirational Taglines

    Inspirational taglines tap into people’s desires, ignite passion and motivate personal development.

    They go beyond product features and benefits. Instead, they speak to people on an emotional level.

    Here are some examples of inspirational taglines:

    • Think Small. (Volkswagen)
    • Impossible is nothing. (Adidas)
    • Think big. (Imax)
    • Let’s go places. (Toyota)
    • Belong anywhere (Airbnb)
    • Nonstop you. (Lufthansa)

    Humorous Taglines

    Humorous taglines use wit and lightness to capture our attention and entertain us. That way, they create a positive association with the brand.

    Here are some examples:

    • That was easy. (Staples)
    • Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. (Maybelline)
    • Red Bull gives you wings. (Red Bull)
    • Nothing runs like a Deere. (John Deere)
    • Finger-Lickin’ Good (KFC)
    • Don’t leave home without it. (American Express)

    Provocative Taglines

    Provocative taglines challenge conventional thinking. By pushing boundaries and daring to be different, these taglines captivate our attention and provoke thought.

    Here are a few examples of provocative taglines:

    • Can you hear me now? (Verizon)
    • Designed to be deleted (Hinge)
    • Democracy dies in darkness. (The Washington Post)
    • What happens here stays here. (Las Vegas)
    • The Citi never sleeps. (Citibank)
    • Save water. Drink champagne. (Moët & Chandon)

    Call-to-Action Taglines

    Call-to-action taglines motivate the audience to take action and interact with the brand.

    Some examples of Call-to-Action Taglines are:

    • Fuel your freshness. (Subway)
    • Empower your journey with Hertz. (Hertz)
    • Seize the ride. (Uber)
    • Uncover the world. (Expedia)
    • Be a hero (GoPro)
    • Join the movement. (Fitbit)

    Rhythmic or Rhyming Taglines

    These taglines use rhythmic patterns or rhymes to become memorable and captivate our attention.

    Here are some examples:

    • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&M’s)
    • The quicker picker-upper. (Bounty)
    • It keeps going… and going… and going. (Energizer)
    • Easy as ABC. (ABC Network)
    • Buy It, Sell It, Love It (eBay)
    • I’m lovin’ it (McDonald’s)

    Brand Essence Taglines

    Brand Essence Taglines describe what the brand does and what it stands for.

    Here are some examples of Brand Essence Taglines:

    • Open Happiness. (Coca-Cola)
    • The happiest place on Earth. (Disneyland)
    • Just like home. (Marriott)
    • Connecting People (Nokia)
    • A diamond is forever. (De Beers)
    • The king of beers. (Budweiser)

    Competitive Taglines

    Competitive Taglines are designed to distinguish a brand from its competitors, mainly by highlighting its unique selling points.

    Here are some examples of Competitive Taglines:

    • We try harder. (Avis)
    • Think different. (Apple)
    • I think, therefore IBM. (IBM)
    • America like you’ve never read it. (New Yorker)
    • Better sound through research. (Bose)
    • Sheer Driving Pleasure. (BMW)

    Characteristics of a Strong Tagline

    These features can characterise a great tagline:

    • Memorable: easy to remember
    • Clear: effectively communicates your brand’s message
    • Unique: sets your brand apart from its competitors
    • Reflective of Brand Identity: aligns with brand values and personality
    • Engaging: captures attention and generates interest
    • Timeless: remains relevant over time
    • Versatile: works across all marketing channels
    • Honest and Positive: fosters trust and is authentic to the brand
    • Action-Oriented: inspires the audience to take action
    • Scalable: adaptable to future brand growth

    How to Write a Tagline That Sticks

    Writing a tagline for your brand can be a daunting task. But there are some steps you can follow to make the process a bit more manageable.

    Here are some valuable tips:

    1. Understand Your Brand

    Start by gaining a good understanding of your brand. What are your brand’s unique personality traits, values, and selling points?

    Clarify what sets your brand apart from the rest.

    2. Define Your Target Audience

    Identify and research your target audience. What are their needs, preferences, and aspirations?

    Your tagline should resonate with them to evoke an emotional connection.

    3. Brainstorm Keywords and Phrases

    Generate a list of keywords and phrases that reflect your brand’s unique identity.

    Choose words that trigger emotions, convey benefits, or make people curious.

    4. Keep It Concise

    Remember that a tagline should be short and memorable. Aim for a short phrase that captures the essence of your brand in a few words. 

    There is no rule on the exact number of words a tagline should have, but most have under eight words. 

    The average word count for the tagline examples in this article is 4.6.

    5. Emphasise Uniqueness

    Highlight your brand positioning—what makes it unique and differentiates it from others in your industry.

    Whether you communicate these qualities in a humorous, competitive or different way largely depends on your brand personality.

    6. Use Language Techniques

    If suitable to your brand, experiment with language techniques such as alliteration, rhyme, or wordplay to make your tagline more memorable and engaging.

    7. Test and Refine

    Once you have a few tagline options, gather feedback from stakeholders, customers, or focus groups. Then, refine and iterate based on the feedback.

    8. Check for Alignment

    Double-check that your tagline aligns with your brand identity. It should be consistent with your brand voice and resonate with your target audience.

    9. Evaluate Effectiveness

    Monitor the impact of your tagline over time. Does it effectively generate brand recognition? Is it attractive and clear to customers?

    Key Takeaways

    • A tagline is a short expression that captures your brand’s essence and helps communicate its unique values and personality.

    • A tagline differs from a slogan as it represents your brand long-term rather than being tied to specific promotions or campaigns.

    • A tagline can differentiate your brand, build recognition, shape its identity, foster consistency, and establish an emotional connection.

    • Not all brands need a tagline, but it can bridge the gap between the brand’s name and purpose.

    • A strong tagline is memorable, clear, unique, reflective of the brand’s identity, engaging, timeless, versatile, honest, positive, action-oriented, and scalable.

    • There are various types of taglines we studied with real-world tagline examples—from humorous to provocative.

    • When crafting your tagline, consider some steps: understand your brand, define your target audience, brainstorm, keep it concise, emphasize uniqueness, consider language techniques, test and refine, check for alignment, and evaluate effectiveness.

    You might enjoy my list of brand-building resources ranging from podcasts to books to course recommendations.

    Title image by Kaboompics

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    Nine Blaess

    Hello, I’m Nine. I blend strategy and design to craft engaging brand identities and websites that celebrate the uniqueness of each business.

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